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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  November 1, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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a new timeline of the events in libya. what it says about the administration's response. let's go "outfront." good evening. tonight, the wreckage. millions growing more desperate as they struggle to cope with the loss of homes, power and family in the wake of hurricane sandy. the u.s. death toll has risen to 88. 44 in new york state alone and the number continues to grow as many people are still missing. i spent the day on staten island where more have died in new york than anywhere else. some of the worst devastation is here and people told us they're not getting enough help as we visited some of the hardest hit areas with congressman michael brim, searchers discovered the body of two young boys. ageing 2 and 4, in the march. they were swept from their mother's arms. some were hoping for a miracle.
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there was no one today. >> we've confirmed four bodies. the two children they were looking for, they found the bodies. also in a different location, found an elderly couple. >> at least 19 have been killed on staten island. what we saw was very upsetting today and we are quoing to bring it to you this hour, but first, brian todd. he is on staten island. what are you seeing right now? >> well, we're in the new beach neighborhood of staten island. kind of on the southern and eastern end of the island. this road behind me is flooded. you can't see a lot of that now. the houses here, hundreds of home ons staten island as you saw and as we saw in this section today, hundreds of homes either severely damaged or destroyed, half of the house to my left and your right, pretty much gone. we wanted to show you some sound that we got of two ladies who live in this area.
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they showed tus damage. >> the water level was up to here. past my first floor. this is you know, this is old stuff coming out of the refrigerators. there's no power. >> just a glimpse there of some of the damage here, but every house you go to has a story like that, either part of the entire house is swept away. some of these people don't have insurance. at least flood insurance. you mentioned the death toll and the two young boys found today. we're told now that 19 people died on staten island alone. just on this borough. completely devastated. >> the complaints they're having today, they're -- the death toll to go even higher. we were also told about looting in neighborhoods like mid land park. are the people you're with worried about looting?
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just seems like their belongings are literally everywhere. >> they are worried about it, erin and i just literally seconds ago talked to a gentleman down the street who says he was looted. he said people came in and took some of his tools. as you mentioned and we've seen, there are people dragging their goods, their belongings out and putting them on their front lawns in an effort to salvage them. they need to get them out of their houses, but that's the problem. the houses are pretty much wide open and very, very vulnerable to looting and this gentleman told us he's been looted. >> thank you very much. reporting from staten island tonight and as we said, we're going to have an in-depth report on what we saw there and it was very upsetting. it will be weeks before some areas get power again. it's unknown before people in the hardest hit areas can go home.
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it's three days after the storm and while the immediate flood waters have receded, other problems are getting bigger and bigger. the looting, the gas supply, the cold, the hunger. >> right now, people in power. as power gets turned on, it's going to help the areas with a lot of damage. we've turned on a lot of the fema assistance to get people moved or get them rentals. we're working to get more people in these areas, thing rs starting to get in there. but the two priorities are the power restoration to get power back on. we're going to refer back to the utilities. we got some of the equipment today. we're moving equipment from the west coast to the east coast. you can't drive it fast enough, so the departments are now flying utility trucks and crews
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to the west coast. some began landing this evening. that's going to continue as we bring in more resources to support utilities. >> when you see the pictures, we've seen this in several areas. when you look at the devastation and homes completely gone, homes just ripped off their foundations. is this what you expected or worse? >> no, this is why the evacuation orders were issued. with storm surge, which is what we get with these type of systems, people tend to think of this as what you see from hurricanes like we saw in mississippi and other storms. when this happens, that's the power of that water.
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it's not going to be like it's flooding the street. it can literally destroy homes as the waves start smashing everything. >> as i mentioned on staten island today and there was a lot of frustration. people were called it the forgotten borough. let me just play this. >> you going to go to your mother's? >> did you call? on the ground today? fema is on the ground today? >> fema was on the ground today, sir, we saw them at the shelter, but it's three days since the storm and everyone told us they were just getting there today. why did it take three days? >> well, generally in three days, we went from a storm that was making landfall at 8:00 three nights ago, search and rescue was the first priority. getting the assistance turned on
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was next and then getting the teams. back and look for the missing and account for all of the recoveries and that will take time as they want to be thorough and get those done and make sure we can identify and hopefully find that people that are missing just haven't been accounted for, but that will continue until they have accounted for all the missing. this is again, we're day three. search and rescue. get to the injured and trapped. now looking for those that are missing. getting power and critical facilities in there and getting assistance to the survivors. >> let me ask you how much higher you think the death toll may go given there haven't been full body searches in places like manhattan.
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>> they're going against now, people are reporting that family members may be missing and they haven't accounted for folks. the teams are going back to look for those areas perhaps look for more people. >> and a final question. one of the fears people have is the gas lines. we sat today, a four-lane super highway. we sat for 40 minutes before rerealized there was traffic for gas. and people are panicked about the gas supply. we have been told there's no problem. what more can you do to help with that problem?
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>> well, part of it was getting where you could get the fuel barges back in. so coast guard and corps of engineers were working for the last couple of days to get where they could get the barges back in to the facilities that could take them. that starts getting some of the supply back in there. but it's taken time to get everything back in place that we've either damaged or was evacuated during the storm to start getting supplies flowing. we've been starting to get emergency supplies in for the generators and responders, making sure they have fuel to go and getting those things in place as the last couple of days they were already using their reserve stocks. >> thank you very much and good luck. we hope that you can help all the people out there who need it so much. and still to come, three days after the storm, some new jersey residents see what's left of their homes for the first time today. plus, a call for help. >> bodies out of the water in homes. what the hell? have we lost our minds?
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>> and really, there's another storm headed towards the same area affected by sandy. yes. everyone in the nicu, all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment. i wouldn't trade him for the world.
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tonight, some residents of new jersey's barrier islands are seeing what's left of their homes and what they find could be heartbreaking. this is a picture of the jersey shore before hurricane sandy, then after the storm ravaged the community. michael holmes is live in toms river, new jersey. michael. >> reporter: yeah, erin, that whole area has been battered so badly. we've been out there twice in two days. we've seen house in the middle of the street. gas lines that are just now being brought under control and
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one of the worst hit areas we got to today, an area familiar to many viewers. that whole new jersey boardwalk area. those entertainment piers. of all the damage brought by sandy, these images are among the those that stand out the most. take a look at before and then the heartbreaking after. this is the casino pier and amusement park in seaside heights. three quarters century old. to television viewers who watched "the sopranos" or the jersey shore or listen to bruce springsteen sing about this place, there might be a sense of familiarity of it. but for millions of americans, this is a deep personal loss. >> that pier was beautiful. it had great rides. every one of you people or half
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you people has been on that pier. >> reporter: summer memories, a place where their parents brought them and they brought their own kids. until now, until this. harry smith is a councilman and business owner. his family ran the beach umbrella concession. it's gone now. >> this is heartbreaking. i've lived here my whole life. devastated. >> reporter: the best known and most dramatic image, the star jet roller coaster. it sat on the pier that used to run 300 yards out to sea along with three dozen other famed rides and attractions. this, for example, was the scrambler. less than a mile away. fun town pier, where we find bob stewart standing where his office used to be. >> i have never seen anything like it. this building where we're standing, i have pictures of it from the 1890 or something and it was the only building here. every storm up till now, you know, completely gone now.
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>> reporter: he says he's already getting calls from regular vacationers. >> they're going to miss this place. they spent their summers here. since there was this thing, you know. >> reporter: the crushing damage down here, all too clear. the ferris wheel, incredibly upright although the pier it sat on is gone. other ride, unrecognizable. the sheer force of the water clear to see from the debris, but it's pylons like this that have stood here for decades that really tell the story. the famed new jersey boardwalk, 16 blocks of it, has either been turned into kindling or has buckled or under mined. it all needs replacing. places like this are more than just pylons and metal though. more than just a beach. that has been a con tas. part of life and family history for those who come year after year. they say it will be rebuilt. but it will never be the same.
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michael holmes, seaside heights on new jersey's barrier island. >> but not everyone is eager to rebuild. "outfront" tonight, joe and ruth. their home was hit by irene last year and they rebuilt and now, their home is destroyed again. tell me, do you think this could happen? >> not like this. i mean, we never expected the destruction that we've seen. it's indescribable. >> and ruth, i know you're considering whether to come back. why are you hesitating on rebuilding? >> i don't know, i've just never felt such terror in my life. i'm usually a pretty strong person. i'm still shaking. i can't think straight. just for fearful of something happening like that again.
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>> and ruth, i don't know your story -- i'm sorry to interrupt. i think we have a delay, but your story of how you survived is pretty miraclous. >> it is. we're lucky to be alive. >> you were having dinner with friends and it was just happened to be that you were in the right place at the right time. >> we went across, i went across the street after having dinner with my friends at 7:30. walked my dog. everything was normal. probably an hour or later, my house was under water and it just kept pouring in. just growing worse and worse and worse. everything changed in an hour or so. >> joe, what do you think about rebuilding? >> you know, i'm a jersey boy. i've lived here all my life. lived in toms river over 40 years. our dream was always to live on the water. we had a beautiful view of right across from the ocean and if the
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house is structurally sound and the engineers tell us that we can rebuild, we will. i know ruth is a little frightened. i mean, it was pretty difficult. almost lost our lives in that house, but tracked on the second floor and having gas lines rupturing all over, we were lucky to get out. someone banged on our door at 7:00 in the morning the next morning and got us out by boat. had it not been for them, we could have par riched in that house. >> and best of luck. i know neighbors and friends have come to the forefront in this time of duress. thanks to both of you and the
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our third story, as the northeast struggles to recover from sandy, a new winter storm could hit the mid-atlantic and new england next week. chad, this is pretty hard to imagine. >> i know. now, it's six days away. it's hard to predict a nor'easter 24 hours out, but the same model that predicted the hurricane and within 15 miles, five days out, is predicting this. let me show you how it's going to set up. warm in the west, cold in the east. that is always the set-up for the potential of a nor'easter to come over the top, develop down here in the gulf, then run up the east coast. the east coast gets cold, then snows. could rain, but probably snows. here is that model. forward it to monday.
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it rains on tuesday in florida. that could affect the election a little bit, but then on wednesday, it runs up to the east coast, now, this is not a 100 mile per hour storm. half the houses don't have roofs. but you're going to see any way the next couple of nights, all close to freezing at night and five million people without power which means no heat. you have to be careful not to try to heat the place and make carbon monoxide. >> that was a terrible story. thank you. next, what we saw. the desperation of superstorm sandy. >> we stayed 11 hours on the roof. we kept yelling help to everyone we seen. nobody was coming. help us. >> and later, senator rand paul. does the romney campaign have a plan to win the election if they can't win ohio? transitions® lenses
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we start the sthaf of our show with stories we care about where we focus on our own reporting. the crane that overturned high above manhattan is a little closer to being tied down tonight. it was being used to construct the tallest residential building in manhattan. today, michael bloomberg announced that inspections of the crane are complete. the construction manager tells us the department of buildings is reviewing the plans to secure it. the area is still closed. public transportation in new york city is starting to come back. some subway lines and amtrak are going to run on a schedule. at least there was some public transportation to help them. the congestion eased a bit
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thanks to a car pool rule. that made a difference. all three major airports were open today for the first time since the storm hit at limited capacity. well, the military used cargo jets to fly power trucks and crews from california to try to help new york clean up sandy. 69 vehicles from southern california were flown in from the west coast. they also sent generators and water pumps to help with clean-ups. the navy will be on stand by in case the state government asks for them help. and now, picking up the pieces from sandy. staten island is a 60 square mile portion of new york city and it suffered some of the worst devastation from the storm. 19 of the city's deaths happened on staten island and today, i toured some of the hardest hit areas and spoke with residents just beginning to pick up the piecing of their shattered lives. this is quincy avenue and you still can't get close to house number 845.
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that's where barbara and her son, christopher, barely survived the storm. >> we stayed 11 hour onss on the roof. we kept yelling help to everyone we see. nobody was coming. nobody. >> their neighborhood, destroyed. the water rose feet in just minutes. they escaped with their lives, but suffered unimaginable loss. >> we were told the next day, looking for my sister, she was found dead in her apartment -- we have to get her from brooklyn and try to bury her. >> at the shelter, we saw about 250 people with no place to go and there are others still unaccounted for. congressman michael grim represents all of staten island. we went with him to see some of the worst devastation. >> four bodies all together. >> two of those belonged to a 2-year-old and 4-year-old.
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separated from their mother as she tried to flee the rising water. two innocent children gone forever. and despite some help arriving today, grim is angry at what he says is a lack of support in what residents told us is an overlooked and forgotten part of the city. so, you think there's still people trapped? >> yeah, unfortunately i do. i think that most likely, there's not going to be many survivors. i think we're going to have as we go door to door and knock on basement, we're going to find bodies. today, they found an elderly couple. i think there's going to be more of that. you know, the one thing i would say is that i think we should be knocking on doors now because maybe there is still someone alive. >> but you need more help. >> we absolutely need more help. this is a cry for help. >> how are you? >> every step grim took, people came asking for help. they told us they need food, shelter.
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so far so far, they said only neighbors have come to their aid. >> where is the red cross? >> on their way now. >> and with temperatures, and increasing desperation, the area needs more help. >> just to put in perspective, a marathon, which you're going to need cops, right, to work the marathon. we don't have cops to stop the looting going on in midland beach, where we are now and getting water out of the battery tunnels, we don't have bodies out of the water at home. what the hell? have we all lost our minds? i just think there's a lack oof priorities and we're just not getting from city hall, what i think we should be getting. and i don't know where the disconnect is, but it's very frustrating. >> it's not just mayor bloomberg he's angry with. he says the federal government hasn't done enough either. >> we've got to get people on the ground. we're frustrated because they should have been here r already. >> as new york tried to show the
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world they could pick up by going on with the world's biggest marathon this weekend, people like scott and kelly will be homeless. we went to see the house they would have moved into today. the landlord said they already paid their deposit. look, computer discs. even money. >> we need more on the ground. we need to city of new york to realize that this is our katrina. >> the obama administration responded to complaints that fema was late on the scene and anountsed that the deputy administrator will be there tomorrow and fema wants everyone who needs assistance to call. when there's complaints, it's because they haven't been able to reach out. 1- 800-621-fema or president obama was back on the trail. >> in new jersey yesterday and
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saw the devastation and you really get a sense of how difficult this is going to be for a lot of people. but you know, we've been inspired these past few days. because when disaster strikes, we see america at its best. the consumer in these times all seem to melt away. there are no democrats or republicans during the storm. just fellow americans. >> his response to the storm has earned him big praise. 78% approve of how he's dealt with the hurricane. images and headlines like this have helped, too, featuring chris christie of new jersey on a bipartisan storm damage tour together from wednesday. but not everyone's a fan of the federal agencies that handle disasters like these, including rand paul. he's "outfront" tonight.
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senator, good to see you and i want to talk about fema. they were on earlier. you know, i think by all accounts, what we've heard, some are frustrated, but they're trying hard to do a good job. at the beginning of the hurricane season this year, you tried to hold up a five-year extension of fema's program. it was tied to an amendment about personhood. why did you do it? >> well, what i have always maintained on our side is that fema should exist on money that comes in as revenue, but not on borrowed money, so really the fight wasn't about we should borrow money for fema or come from existing funds. we send billions of dollars overseas to aid other countries. i'm for keeping that money home and paying for fema with that rather than borrowing money. >> so, you don't have a problem with fema. we see people, they're in such desperate -- a lot of them are -- >> i think fema tries hard. i think they're like many government agencies. sometimes, they're successful and sometimes, they're not. i'm hoping maybe the ice they have in the warehouse that's been there since katrina that
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they could never use, maybe they could use that this time around or maybe some of the housing they had in arkansas that spent years in arkansas and never got katrina. i'm not saying government doesn't have a role. i personally have seen up close the salvation army, red cross and others and immediate responders, local firefighters, local policemen being much more effective. ultimately, the federal government comes in, but really, your best chance of your life being saved is by your local police or fire force. >> so, you think if that was who was in charge, you'd have more temporary housing and in the right places? i know you were just with the remark you made ant about the temporary housing. >> there's an immediate response and those are the first
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responders who are there. the physicians, nurses, firefighters and policemen. later on, there is talk and really within a day or two, talk of temporary housing and things, but a lot of that is also done locally. when we had tornados that devastated two cities in our community here in kentucky, the churches stepped up and fed the first respondered. 2,000 responders a day were being fed by churches and the people were being put up in houses, so i don't entirely think this is a government response. it's important to really laud the private folks and churches who step up. >> let me ask you a question about what happened today. there have been some surprising e endorsements on both sides, but today, i think one that surprised some people, a man who's been a democrat, a republican and now, an independent. mayor bloomberg.
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came out and endorsed president obama and he did so, he said, because of climate change. that was the main reason and here's what he said about mitt romney. all right. sorry, we don't have that. what he said if the 1994 or 200 p 3-version of mitt romney were voting for president, i may have voted for him. what's your response to that? it's got to be a big blow -- as being a business man to say that. >> yeah, i don't think many of us thought that he was going to be endorsing a republican anytime soon. we can't even get a decent sized coke to drink in new york city anymore. i don't think his sort of sense of philosophy really is republican much at all. >> one final question i want to squeeze this in as i told our viewers i would. can mitt romney win this without winning ohio? >> i think he's going to win ohio and i don't know if i can tell you the absolute answer about the electoral math. i have been saying we need to be more competitive in the west coast and new england because
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we're not competitive there. it makes the map much more difficult for us. i think we're going to win ohio. been there three times and going back on sunday. what i sense is a lot of momentum left over from 2010. >> we appreciate your time. up next, out of gas. for those without power, but with generators, it looks a little bit like the 1970s and the ever changing timeline in the obama administration's story of the benghazi attack. let's check in with anderson s could only come from nature. now from the maker of splenda sweeteners, discover nectresse. the only 100% natural, no-calorie sweetener made from the goodness of fruit. the rich, sweet taste of sugar. nothing artificial. ♪ it's all that sweet ever needs to be. new nectresse. sweetness naturally.
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an intelligence official this afternoon holing a rare briefing with reporters to defend the cia and this afternoon, our suzanne kelly was the only television reporter invited to the briefing and she's "outfront" tonight. so what did they tell you? >> well, a senior u.s. intelligence official who offered almost really a minute blow by blow of what happened the night of the attack saying they felt passionately on the facts after fox news reported -- denied requests from officers on the ground to assist and were ordered to stand down. now, that senior official said that never happened. the official insisting that the cia operators on the ground were in charge of what they did and when and that the safety of those who were repair tog respond was also an important consideration. the officials saying there were no orders for anybody to stand down in providing support.
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>> a briefing is very rare, so when you think about why di thai did that, is it because of the pressure they've been under? what's your understanding? >> i think that's a fabulous question, erin. there are two different benghazi stories. the story of what happened that night and those people on the ground who were responding, trying to make good decisions and then there's the political story and you know how politicized this story has become. how much did the administration know? when did they know it? what should they have done differently? i think five days before an election for them to come out, for any intelligence official to come out and really feel passionately about setting the record straight tells you they feel like the people out there doing the work are really getting a disservice by the back and forth of all of this. president george w. bush. nick burns, form he
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undersecretary for political affairs on the democratic side. and republican. good to see both of you. let me ask you your reaction first to this. to suzanne's reporting what the cia says happened. >> as a cia alumni, i'm not surprise told at the bravery of these officers. these people have been at war for many years now and their bravery is no surprise whatsoever. i'm sure they did what they felt they needed to do to protect their colleagues as well as other americans. i think we're deeply indebted to them. >> nick, ely lake from the daily beast, i know you're familiar with his reporting. he's done some fantastic reporting. he's saying the state department never requested military back-up the night of the benghazi attack. normally that would have been the responsibility of the ambassador who of course was in the heat of the moment there. so that then would have fallen to the state department to make that decision, and as we know, they could hear it in real-time. does this surprise you? >> you know, ering, i have to say, i served not just in democratic administrations but in republican administrations. including the administration of george w. bush. i really find it disturbing that
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people are trying to make ultramr. judgments about what happened in benghazi based on piecemeal reports. the only responsible way is to listen to ambassador pickering who has been asked. he has not come out with his report yet. we're right before an election. this has been politicized, as your reporter that. and not by the administration. and i just think it is disturbing that somehow all these reports come out piecemeal and people try to draw a broader conclusion. we really owe it to everybodier can to take a deliberate look at this and i actually think it is best that this come out after the election so it is not political. >> what's your response to that? at this point, should we just wait here? another couple of weeks. and there will be hearings to really find out the time line. >> i agree with nick to a point. and he is right. we've been getting these piecemeal reports but almost
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eight weeks after this tragic event, there are more questions than answers. and they persist. and i think it is unfair to the american people, and it is wrong that we don't have these answers. why are we having this intelligence briefing by a senior unname intelligence official as opposed to having a time line from the government two months after this tragic event? i don't understand it. that's why i think people are very suspicious and skeptical. i agree with nick to a certain point but i think we should have more transparency. >> what about that? why is it that it is behind closed doors and you cannot name the person. why not just put it out there in the public realm with your name on it? >> of course, i don't know anything about the briefing that took place. i just heard about it for the first time listening to your broadcast will i can say that i believe secretary clinton made the right decision here. to order an independent, objective investigation and review and that's underway. sometimes these things take
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time. and they don't lend themselves to people's political endars. i also think, the two most important issues getting lost is, what can we do to upgrade embassy security, and that means that republicans and democrats should fully fund in the congress and receive security. and can we go after the groups that killed ambassador chris stevens and his colleagues? president obama said he will do that and i trust he is trying to do that. i think that's where we should be putting our attention, especially this week. >> a final question to you. is it possible that we may never know why certain crucial pieces of information that were known to some people very early on were not shared with the american public? that we'll never know whether there was a concerted decision and who made it? >> well, that would be a shame. it would be a problem, a travesty. and i think this is why congress really needs to dig into this. certainly the families of those who lost their lives bravely defending the american sovereignty and american interests deserve those answers and i think we should come to
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some sort of conclusion on that. >> thanks very much to both of you. we appreciate you men being on together again. gas line have been growing all around the areas of sandy's wrath. there's no shortage and we'll tell you why. lately. but things are starting to turn around because of business people like you. and regions is here to help. with the experience and service to keep things rolling. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together.
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sandy has led to even more problem for people in the broader new york metropolitan area. i wanted to show you these pictures. power outages at hundreds of gas stations. like this one we saw in north bergen county. a distribution bottleneck due to flooding has led to long lines at gas stations and apparently this could go on for a week. i want to give you a little more of a sense. michael green of aaa told out
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front. we estimate that only 35 to 40% of the gas stations in new jersey and only 30 to 35% of the gas stations on long island that we monitor are operating on a daily basis. some may run out of gas later in the day but others will come on line as power is restored. that's what we want to emphasize. as power is restored. rereached out to analysts because so many people are afraid. you wait for four or five hours to get gas or you show up and the station is closed or only emergency vehicles are allowed to get gas. and you start to become panicked and afraid and people have felt that way. analysts say that there is no gas shortage. that is really important. gasoline is actually very plentiful. it is just the logistics problem. as power come back online, that's the crucial thing. gas will be readily available again. that's something that hopefully calms some people who have been afraid about that. thank you for watching.